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Introduced Version House Bill 2094 History

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hb2094 intr
H. B. 2094


(By Delegate Pino)

[Introduced February 9, 2005; referred to the

Committee on Government Organization then Finance.]





A BILL to amend the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §18-22E-1, §18-22E-2 and §18-22E-3, all relating to creation of the "Supplement to West Virginia Veterans Education Benefits Program Fund"; providing that resident veterans receive a certain monthly benefit when attending a public institution of higher education in this State; providing for the "Supplement to West Virginia Veterans Higher Education Benefits Program Commission"; designating members of the Commission; authorizing the Commission to enlist aid of clerical help; setting forth eligibility requirements; and providing that the new law does not create an entitlement to benefits.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §18-22E-1, §18-22E-2
and §18-22E-3, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 22E. THE SUPPLEMENT TO WEST VIRGINIA VETERANS HIGHER EDUCATION BENEFITS PROGRAM.

§18-22E-1. Supplement to West Virginia Veterans Higher Education Benefits Program Fund.

There is hereby created in the State Treasury a fund, designated the "Supplement to West Virginia Veterans Higher Education Benefits Program Fund." Moneys in this fund shall be distributed in accordance with the provisions of this article. The purpose of this fund is to provide a source of economic assistance to resident veterans of this State who were residents when they began their military service and who, upon honorable discharge from military service, choose to attend a public institution of higher education located in this State. In addition to any funds appropriated by the Legislature, the supplement to West Virginia Veterans Higher Education Benefits Program Fund may receive donations of cash or property from other sources, including gifts, grants, or donations from any source whatsoever: Provided, That expenditures may be made from this Fund only upon appropriation by the Legislature.
§18-22E-2. Supplement to West Virginia Veterans Higher Education Benefits Program Commission; composition; meetings.

There is hereby created the supplement to West Virginia Veterans Higher Education Benefits Program Commission. The Commission is composed of the chancellor for each governing board of higher education in this State, the adjutant general of the State and the presidents of West Virginia and Marshall Universities respectively. In addition, the Governor shall appoint three additional members to the Commission no later than the thirty-first day of August, two thousand five. These additional members shall include a certified public accountant, an investment broker holding, at a minimum, a master's degree in economics, business or finance, and a member of the public at large holding, at a minimum, a four-year degree from an accredited institution of higher education. The Commission shall hold its first meeting no later than the last day of September, two thousand six. The term of office for each member appointed by the Governor is five years. No more than two of the three members appointed by the Governor may be from the same political party. Members shall serve without remuneration and shall meet at least quarterly. Special meetings may be called. The purposes of the Commission are as follows: To make an annual recommendation to the Legislature regarding appropriations from the supplement to West Virginia Veterans Higher Education Benefits Program Fund; to advertise the existence of the fund and its purpose; to administer the Fund and to insure its financial solvency and integrity throughout the process of investment and dispersement; to seek private and public sources of moneys for deposit in the Fund; and to provide for a screening process to insure only eligible military veterans qualify to receive awards from the Fund. To these ends the Commission is authorized to incur reasonable expenses to enlist clerical assistance and clerical supplies in order to administer dispersements to qualified applicants in accordance with the provisions of section three of this article. The Commission shall also propose legislative rules to carry out the purposes of this article. The Commission's recommendation to the Legislature regarding appropriations shall be made in writing no later than the second Wednesday of January, two thousand seven, and the second Wednesday of each year thereafter.
§18-22E-3. Residential veterans eligible for monthly assistance while attending institution of higher education in this State.

Any military veteran, who was a resident of this State at the inception of his or her service in the United States armed services who, within one year of being honorably discharged and while maintaining residential status, enrolls in a public institution of higher learning in this State, is eligible to receive a monthly stipend of fifty dollars payable from the supplement to West Virginia Veterans Higher Education Benefits Program Fund provided under section one of this article: Provided, That any recipient of funds provided for by this article must be in attendance at a State Institution of Higher Education carrying a class load of at least fifteen hours each semester to receive benefits: Provided, however, That no accumulation of benefits paid to a recipient hereunder may exceed two thousand dollars: Provided further, That this article may not be construed as creating an entitlement to benefits and is subject to the availability of adequate funding and legislative appropriation.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create the "Supplement to West Virginia Veterans Higher Education Benefits Program Fund." The bill provides that resident veterans honorably discharged, who were residents at the inception of military service, may receive a $50.00 per month stipend if they attend a state institution of higher education. The bill creates a funding source and a commission to carry out the purposes of the legislation.

This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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